Let go of the anger and the hurt so it does not destroy you, too.
Big, fat tears welled up in her eyes and spilled over, running down her cheeks. Her voice changed as she tried to talk around the lump in her throat.
“But mommy, I’m going to miss all of my friends! Jackie and Bennet and Katie and all of my teachers…”
I wrapped my arms around her even tighter.
“I know, bug-a-boo, but we don’t know if your school is going to be there much longer and we need a plan B for just in case.”
“I miss my principal!” she wailed.
Changing schools at the start of a school year is hard. I remembered. But doing it suddenly like this mid year was going to be that much worse.
My son wiped tears from his wet face. “I am really going to miss my teachers.”
“I know, hon.”
You need to show a more charitable response.
They gutted the school in front of the kids. During class the teachers had to take down all of the wall and window decor. Furniture was moved. Locks were changed. The beloved principal was fired without warning while she was on vacation celebrating her wedding anniversary.
They’d promised nothing would change for the first year. It was November. Not even three months in.
Parents showed up and cussed out the new owner’s representatives. I rescheduled some patients and went up there myself to check on my own kids, to check on the teachers. Hollow eyed, people wandered about and spoke in hushed tones, shellshocked.
Be a good steward, not just of your money, but also of your love. Give freely…
There were rumors teachers were being fired or resigning.
“I’m here for the kids. I will stick it out for the rest of the year no matter what. I can take a beating when it comes to those kids if need be. If THEY will let me…”
Meanwhile, the new owners refused to communicate with the parents or the teachers. The kids were left in a scary limbo. Friends were pulled out of classes and transferred to other schools with no opportunity to say goodbye.
Choose to show love when it is least expected.
I could not sleep. When I did sleep it was fitfully, dreaming nightmares that they were taking the kids and not letting us have them back.
The nightmare has been running for four days now in my brain, and it won’t shut off. I am struggling with what my response should be. The brain does crazy things under stress. How do you express that much anger, hurt, and betrayal in a sane way so that the person who did it can really understand?
Would they understand?
Let my love for them show through you.
We tried out a new church because I will be transferring my kids to an Episcopal school and I wanted them to understand chapel.
“Mom, why are they kneeling?”
“Mom, why did they take the book out into the aisle to read from it instead of up on the platform?”
“Why did he touch my forehead?”
It was part of the adventure. New church. New school. I found there was comfort in the symbolism and ritual.
“Come up to the front and get one of these crosses for your family then get one of these envelopes with $5 in it and use that this week to show kindness to someone else in a bold and daring way. Don’t just stick it into the Salvation Army donation bucket. DO something with it.”
And then I knew.
Do something unexpected.
“It is not your fault what the new owners did to the kids and the parents and the staff. It was wrong, though, and I cannot keep my kids in this school. I do want you to know that I wish you luck as you try to repair the damage done to the relationships here. It is going to be a long road back.” I handed the new director a small gift bought with that $5 and gave her a hug.
And then I walked away.